Disputes can arise between the insured and the insurance company as to what amount of damage has occurred to the insured’s property.  These disputes can ultimately end up in arbitration or litigation.  In order to avoid these often costly and time-consuming quagmires, most insurance companies have an appraisal clause that can be enacted by the insured or insurance company.  The main goal in the appraisal process is to agree on the extent and cost of damage to the insured’s property outside of the court system.

Once the appraisal clause in enacted, each party must select an appraiser.  Appraisers provide an expert opinion and serve as representatives on behalf of the parties they are selected to represent.  After each party has selected an appraiser, an on-site inspection is performed and the extent of damage and value of loss is discussed.  If the two parties agree on the extent of damages during the on-site meeting, the itemized cost associated with the damages are identified and documented in writing by both appraisers.  A signature from both appraisers concludes the process and the claim is viewed as completed and closed.  If an agreement is not met by both appraisers, the next step is to proceed to an umpire (See Umpire Section).

EES has represented both parties in these disputes and can provide a cost effective and timely resolution to the appraisal process. EES can provide both insureds, insurance companies, and 3rd parties with validated estimates using industry estimating software programs. Once an umpire is agreed upon, they will take into account the information gained by both appraisers along with the expertise and background in such matters and render a decision on the amount of loss. The award can only become final if two of the three parties agree. The use of an umpire is the last step in the appraisal process, and the decision rendered by the umpire is final.

Damage from hail events in the U.S. approaches $1 billion each year.

The appraisal process saves time and money.

Disputes can be resolved outside of the court system.

The appraisal process can be invoked by the insured or the insurer.